The first round of successful entrepreneurs from the Digital & Beyond specialized incubator, which was launched by Ooredoo and the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC), successfully pitched their ideas in front of judges and investors at QBIC’s Demo Day.
Demo Day marked the end of a seven-week-long LeanStartup program for 41 entrepreneurs in Qatar, and gave graduates the opportunity to pitch their business idea in front of six industry judges for a chance to be supported further.
The event saw 16 tech-related start-up business ideas out of 34 start-ups, a number of which had been supported by Ooredoo and QBIC’s leading entrepreneurship hub, Digital & Beyond.
At the event, Qatar Development Bank CEO and QBIC Chairman Abdulaziz Bin Nasser Al Khalifa said: "We’re pleased to see yet another wave of Qatari entrepreneurs successfully complete our LeanStartup program. Their achievements reflect the strength of our program, and their success represents an encouraging trend in the development of the local entrepreneurship scene. We’ve seen a large number of promising high-pilot projects and exciting tech concepts exhibited at Demo Day, and this reflects the drive and ambition of our young entrepreneurs, as they gear up to become part of Qatar’s wider national development.”
Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo Qatar, commented: “We’re extremely proud to see the first set of Digital & Beyond entrepreneurs show their ideas to the world. We believe in enabling people to reach their full potential and understand the significant role played by entrepreneurs in creating a diverse and knowledge-based economy. It is our duty to strengthen their efforts, and provide support to contribute to the overall development of the national private sector. Congratulations to everyone who pitched and I look forward to seeing your development in the future."
The incubator, Digital & Beyond, was set up to enable entrepreneurs to develop products and services that provide digital solutions to enhance customer experience, and introduce new concepts both the local and regional digital space.
During Demo Day, which took place on March 21, 2016, entrepreneurs with the best-developed prototypes pitched their ideas to Digital & Beyond judges and potential investors, who then selected the best seven pitches to be incubated at Digital & Beyond.
The main selection criteria was based on each idea’s customer validation and traction attainment. Selected new start-ups will receive smart financing, coaching and mentoring, office space, and networking opportunities from QBIC and Ooredoo.
Through Digital & Beyond, Ooredoo and QBIC are providing a facility for start-ups and SMEs to reduce the time to market for new digital products and services, ease processes, and solve relevant problems in areas of digital living, including: customer experience, healthcare, transportation and logistics, education, sports, business solutions, and OTT entertainment and gaming.
Incubated companies are expected to complete a three-month testing program, to ensure the idea fulfils QBIC’s requirements to undergo a successful launch.
QBIC’s CEO Aysha Al Mudahka said: “We’re so proud of the 16 business ideas that made it this far in the one of the most challenging waves of the LeanStartup program, and we congratulate those who have been incubated and are now officially part of the QBIC family, and to be pioneering through for start-ups that will join the Digital & Beyond incubator at a later stage. With dedication, hard work, and action-oriented coaching from QBIC and Ooredoo, we hope to be part of their journey towards becoming the next QAR 100 million companies in Qatar.”
Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) is the largest mixed-use business incubator in the MENA region. QBIC was founded by two of Qatar's leading government institutions supporting local entrepreneurs: Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and the Social Development Center (SDC). QBIC's goal is to develop the next QAR 100 million companies in Qatar. QBIC empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow companies by incubating, developing, connecting and investing.
One of QBIC’s flagship initiatives is LeanStartup, turning innovative ideas into startup businesses. LeanStartup is a ten-week entrepreneurial program that provides real world, hands-on learning experience on how to successfully start a company.
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Ooredoo is Qatar’s leading communications company, delivering mobile, fixed, broadband internet and corporate-managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses. As a community-focused company, Ooredoo is guided by its vision of enriching people’s lives and its belief that it can stimulate human growth by leveraging communications to help people achieve their full potential.